When a patient is given a diagnosis of cancer, the fears may immediately start piling on—about one’s health, future, family, finances, and much more. Despite state-of-the-art treatment and a good prognosis, worries and anxiety will surely continue to affect the quality of life of cancer patients. Even after a patient has gone into remission, he or she may still grapple with the residual stressors of the disease.
That’s why help for cancer patients in the early stages of their journey is key. Building stress-reducing techniques into one’s daily habits encourages people to make healthy decisions day in and day out, leading to improved mental health and even physical health. Loved ones can provide help for cancer patients by encouraging them to adopt some stress-reduction habits, such as:
Physical activity is widely acknowledged to be one of the best ways to reduce stress. Some may question if it can actually provide help for cancer patients, who may not be able to have the same level of physical activity they once did. However, even minimal amounts of exercise have proven beneficial to mental wellbeing. A daily walk around the block or through a treatment center or a dip in a pool at a local gym can provide essential help for cancer patients.
Stocking up on fruits and veggies is a great way to improve outlook and mood, in addition to fueling physical health. The nutrients in a healthy diet have been shown to provide help for cancer patients who are looking to reduce stress and stay centered. Exploring one’s culinary skills is also a fun and engaging way to build confidence and take control over one aspect of your life—especially important during cancer treatment when so many things are outside of the patient’s control.
The power that other patients and survivors can have in providing help for cancer patients can’t be overlooked. Formal support groups and meetings may not seem to be a good fit for all patients at first, but they might be surprised by how much they enjoy hearing from others who’ve faced similar journeys—even if they don’t at first share their own story. Those who don’t want to follow the traditional support-group approach can also turn to hotlines or the world wide web—which features scores of online discussion groups, forums and digital meet-ups where cancer patients serve as sources of support.